Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dear Consul General Shariv,

Dear Consul General Shariv,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Your claim that the Islamic Charitable Association is a "front" for Hamas and that it is being used to promote "terrorist activities" doesn't bear much scrutiny. If you know there are terrorists at the orphanage, why don't you arrest and charge them? That is what a civilized country would do, rather than threaten a bunch of children.

Israel sent soldiers in the middle of the night to smash the orphanage's bakery. That means they can't eat. Wouldn't that, in fact, be harming the children, something you claim is not being done? And what Israeli citizens are in danger from the sewing cooperative that the IDF destroyed? I fear that your arguments are more sophistry than fact.

You must know that the IDF is in the West Bank for reasons other then "to stop activities that put Israeli citizens in danger." They are occupiers and are actively engaged in ethnic cleansing. Surely you are fully aware of that.

And I am sorry that you have taken offense at the word "atrocities." In your position, I assumed that you had made peace with the daily subjugation and humiliation of an entire people.

Fred Nagel
Rhinebeck

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Dear Mr. Nagel,

Thank you for your e-mail.

The IDF's demand to close institutions established by the Islamic Charitable Association stems from the fact that they serve as a front for Hamas, which uses them to promote its violent ideology and fund its terrorist activities.

I can assure you that no one in Israel, including the IDF, means to do any harm to Palestinian orphans and to innocent people in general. The IDF's sole purpose is to stop activities that put Israel citizens in danger. This is its right, as well as its duty.

I am aware that headlines stating that Israel shuts down orphanages do not improve the country's image, but the reality in which we live requires sometimes to do things that, although don't look good, are the right things to do. We must not forget that Hamas hides behind its own citizens, including children, while it promotes its uncompromising policy of terror and hatred.

As far as I know, this case is currently discussed in Israeli court. I can only hope there will be a solution that will not harm Palestinian children, and at the same time ensure that these institutions don't serve to promote Hamas' illegal activities. But in the meantime, I would suggest that you refrain from referring to Israel’s activities against terrorism as “atrocities”. The use of such term is not only unjust, but it does not help promote peace and justice in our region.

Sincerely,

Asaf Shariv
Consul General

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